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Sky Bet Championship

The Den (ATT 9,523) 14th September 2013 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: K Stroud

Millwall Millwall vs Derby County Derby

Millwall 1

S Lowry (S/O 51)
M Waghorn (75)

ft

Derby 5

J Buxton (9)
C Bryson (45+2, 57, 81)
M Bennett (87)

Championship: Derby County thrashes Millwall 5-1 at the Den

Last Updated: 17/09/13 10:46am

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Craig Bryson: Hit three goals past Millwall

Craig Bryson: Hit three goals past Millwall

A hat-trick from Craig Bryson saw swaggering Derby beat Millwall 5-1 to heap even more pressure on beleaguered Steve Lomas in the Sky Bet Championship.

Bryson's hat-trick was bookended by goals from Jake Buxton and Mason Bennett, as the Rams destroyed the Lions in every area of the pitch.

Buxton put Derby ahead inside the first 10 minutes.

Jamie Ward's corner was cleared back to him by goalkeeper David Forde, but he crossed again to the back post where Buxton defeated Danny Shittu's lax marking to head past Martyn Woolford.

The early goal established a superiority Derby were never to relinquish and rammed further down Millwall throats as the game progressed.

The dominance stemmed from the relentless energy of the two more advanced midfielders in Derby's 4-3-3 formation, Bryson and Will Hughes.

Hughes' continuing appearance in the Rams ranks will be of considerable relief to Derby supporters amid eight-figure attention on transfer deadline day and showed exactly why he has attracted such speculation.

Despite technical ability and movement, he was even more impressive without the ball. He pressed Millwall's defence and midfield into mistakes all afternoon, particularly the embattled Shane Lowry, who was repeatedly forced to waste possession with long balls and responded by with a late, second-half tackle on Hughes that saw him sent-off.

But ultimately Bryson stole Hughes' thunder. His first two goals were stunning finishes.

Just as Derby's first-half ascendancy was threatening to go relatively unrewarded, Shaun Derry cleared Ward's free-kick into Bryson's path. The Scottish international took one touch, before unleashing a fierce shot home from 20 yards.

Shortly after half-time improbably he scored an even better goal. He slammed home a powerful drive once more, this time from slightly further out as Derby broke quickly from the back.

After Martyn Waghorn grabbed an irrelevant consolation on his Millwall debut, Bryson sealed Derby's first hat-trick since 1996, completing another slick passing move.

Hughes broke forward, passed right to Kieron Freeman, who played in Bryson to poke home. Every step of the process was far too easy for Derby, as Millwall squandered any comeback they may have threatened.

Derby's day got even sweeter late on as 17-year-old substitute Bennett rounded off the result with another fine finish.

For the Lions, the gradual improvements they had been showing under Lomas with two away draws following three defeats were unequivocally blown out of the water.

The midfield were outnumbered with Derby always having an extra man to pass to, even before the sending-off. The defence's distribution was abysmal and they were slow to respond to the fluid movement of Derby's front five.

The forwards were the most blameless as they were restricted to chasing long punts from the back and Scott McDonald and Waghorn combined nicely for the latter's goal.

Lomas tried to respond by pulling Andy Keogh in midfield to remove Derby's extra man. This worked to an extent, but as his midfield slowly regained something near a foothold, he pushed Keogh back into the forward line and conceded a second goal shortly after.

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Matches

Table

Sky Bet Championship

Sky Bet Championship
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bournemouth 22 42
2 Ipswich Town 22 41
3 Brentford 22 40
4 Middlesbrough 22 39
5 Derby County 22 39
6 Watford 22 38
7 Norwich City 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 34
9 Nottingham Forest 22 31
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 22 31
11 Cardiff City 22 30
12 Charlton Athletic 22 30
13 Fulham 22 28
14 Sheffield Wednesday 22 28
15 Birmingham City 22 28
16 Bolton Wanderers 22 26
17 Reading 22 25
18 Leeds United 22 24
19 Rotherham United 22 24
20 Huddersfield Town 22 24
21 Millwall 22 23
22 Brighton and Hove Albion 22 19
23 Wigan Athletic 22 17
24 Blackpool 22 13